Tuesday: Rhythm N Blues with DJ B.O
Want to go up in the club on a Tuesday? Donghu Lu playground
of the rich and beautiful Le Baron
opens its doors, albeit not all of them – the main room is curtained off meaning the place has more of
a bar vibe. Behind the decks is DJ B.O aka Brian Offenther, formerly
of Shanghai’s Trash A Go-Go crew and the man who declared himself ‘Shanghai’s No 2 DJ’. He puts on a night of rhythm and blues ‘bringing old fashioned lovin’ to the red lounge’, likely doing so in his glittery red cowboy hat.
Music wise, think old school R’n’B from the likes of
Al Green and Louis Jordan. As the morning pokes through you can expect to hear some hip-hop and neo-soul blending in, plus B.O even represents some local rock from bands like Round Eye and Psyders. ‘I think it’s the only weekly club night in Shanghai where someone will hear actual China bands,’ B.O says.
It’s a Tuesday, so it’s probably wise to come with Tuesday-sized expectations. But it’s a snazzy spot for a cocktail or two, and the feel-good soundtrack means it doesn’t take much to get people up shaking what they’ve got. Whilst it’s a decent post-dinner date destination, those coming here in search of crunk times might be a little disappointed. But come on, it’s a Tuesday.
Rhythm N Blues with DJ B.O is at Le Baron every Tuesday from 10pm.
Wednesday: Come Correct Crew
If you’re heading out on hump day there is one crew that has put on
so many Wednesday nights in Shanghai they can probably claim the day as their turf. Shanghai’s OG hip-hop night Come Correct Crew was started in 2011 at Hengshan Lu spot Pan!c Room by founding fathers T-Plus and Caution, starting as a hardcore boombap and rap night. Since then they’ve put on over 300 Wednesdays including
a six-year spell at The Shelter,
and now see themselves as ‘the grumpy old uncles of the hip-hop society in Shanghai’. They also
call themselves the crew that shut down The Shelter, after the club’s infamous final night was brought to an end at around 10pm following a two-hour set from Come Correct.
The crew now reside at DADA, putting on a night soaked in ’90s golden age hip-hop but with smatterings of disco, funk and soul when the party calls for it. And there are a few things you don’t see at most Shanghai nights. Firstly, dancing. And we mean proper dancing, from local dance
skinny kids in tracksuits who
seem to relish the opportunity to dance to the music they practice to in the studio.
Secondly, freestyling. Come Correct used to advertise itself
as having an open mic, and the microphone is still passed around (when T-Plus permits it). But if you’re going to step up, you’d better back
it up with the skills. ‘Sometimes it’s a clusterfuck,’ T-Plus says. ‘The name of the fucking night is Come Correct. If you’re a DJ you’d better come correct. If you’re an MC, come correct.’
Nowadays the crew is eight strong and surprisingly diverse:
The youngest member is Mao Mao Q, a 22-year-old DJ born and raised in Shanghai. The dancers, MCs, music and a core group of regulars all give the night a grassroots feel you just don’t find too often here. It’s a clubbing experience to add to any hip-hop fan’s Shanghai bucket list.
Come Correct Crew
is at DADA every Wednesday from 10pm.
For those who like their clubbing unashamedly
opulent served with a side of salsa, UNÏCO at Three on the Bund is for you.
The second floor joint is home to Paul Pairet’s latest hit dining venue The Chop Chop Club, but UNÏCO
still holds its own as a nightlife destination. Every Thursday the club hosts Lady Ipanema, its Brazilian-twinged ladies night. Ipanema is actually an affluent neighbourhood on the south side of Rio de Janeiro, which is fitting as UNÏCO is a pretty affluent area when the usual clientele are in.
The somewhat questionable concept of a ladies night involves attracting women into a club by offering them free alcohol, and attracting men into a club with women. Thankfully Lady Ipanema
is free entry whatever your gender, but ladies heading here hoping to get trolleyed on free-flow punch might be disappointed with the
one complimentary fruit caipirinha offered. Still, there’s impressive
live percussion from the lively Lek Vega, a fun-loving samba and Latin house soundtrack and batacuda and samba dancers starting from 11pm. On our visit the busy dance floor certainly felt like a mini Carnival.
It’s nothing groundbreaking, but if you’re on the Bund and want to dance
(and are suitably well-dressed and deep-pocketed) this night should fit the bill.
Lady Ipanema is at UNICO every Thursday from 10pm.